Adam’s Essay – Written Senior Year – High School

by Team Camp on December 22, 2007

Another sample of Adam’s writing, this was written shortly before finishing high school and prior to entering college. Learn about Adam’s hobbies, interests, and goals for the future.  There’s tremendous wisdom in this post.

 My name is Adam Campfield and I was born in Loma Linda, California on May 20, 1989. I was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, or cancer of the retina, when I was about a year old and consequently after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, both my eyes were enucleated and at age of six, becoming one of  approximately one million blind individuals in the United States.

I am now almost finished with high school, and I have, after some thought, chosen computer science for my field of study in college. Having spent increasing amounts of time on the computer through high school, not only for school work but for recreation as well, I became more interested in different programs, software, and games for the blind and finally to the thought of  programming and making some of these for myself. The more time I spent on the internet, the more I enjoyed learning web design, taking pleasure in creating websites for myself and for others.

Currently, I am enrolled in a computer course at Western Colorado Community College through my high school. The course covers several aspects of computers including networking, but the reason I chose to enroll in the course was to initiate myself into computer programming and web design through HTML coding. So far, I have enjoyed both of these and because of this, I decided to continue my study of computers, particularly in the area of programming and scripting through Colorado State University, where I have been accepted.

There are many things I would like to accomplish in my life. Some of my personal goals alter as my situation in life changes, but others remain constant. One goal is to further advance my studies of the Martial Arts. Another is to achieve a college degree in computer science, and to use that knowledge to help myself and others perhaps by designing and writing adaptive software for the blind, creating, for example, a new type of screen reader. Additionally, I am working on starting an internet based business with my cousin which we hope to launch fairly soon and lastly, I would like to play the drums in a band, even if only for fun.

One of my hobbies is playing the drums. I began drum lessons when I was seven, but it was only after I stopped the lessons around the age of fourteen that my motivation to learn grew. Then it was my favorite bands that became my teachers, and I started teaching myself by playing along with CD’s.

Another hobby, which to me is actually more of a lifestyle, is Martial Arts. I began my studies in Martial Arts at the age of seven and participated in and won some of the school tournaments. I received a Courage Award for participation in a stick fighting competition and I earned my Black Belt several years ago which has since served as a source of inspiration for me to achieve even higher goals, difficult though the road to it may be.

In addition to these recreational hobbies, I am a member of the Mesa County Teen Leadership Commission. Though only a year old, it is my opinion that MCTLC has the potential to accomplish a great deal for the county and has already taken several important steps in that direction.

In 10th grade, I was elected vice president and eventually also served that year as president, of Deep River Charter School Student Council. Running the Student Council was challenging, but fun.  We held a fundraiser, set up a hot lunch program, and organized a school dance. I feel that I am a better person and a better leader for those experiences.

Other hobbies include skiing, playing computer games, building websites but most of all I love to read. I guess you could say I am addicted to reading because I will even read a book that I have already read a dozen times, just for the sake of having a story.  I also love gadgets for the blind.  When our family is in the area, I will ask to stop at Beyond Sight to explore and learn about whatever new technology is available.  I want it all!

Although I am not involved in many school activities beyond academics, I am a member of the National Honor Society.  This is due partly to the time required for such activities, the selection of activities offered by my school and, I admit, partly because I enjoy my books and computer more than large groups of people, though I do attend a church youth group.  I have also participated in the National Braille Challenge and have made finals twice.  Unfortunately, due to conflicts with already scheduled family events, I was not able to participate in the final challenge.

After traveling with a cane for this many years, I am pleased to say that I have become proficient with my orientation/mobility skills. I am comfortable with traveling in most environments. One of my strategies for being successful in traveling my college campus, which is quite large, and located in a new, and larger town, is to obtain a talking GPS unit. I feel that with this, and my cane traveling skills, navigating to classes or to other surrounding locations should not be a problem.

I have attended a couple of independent living summer camps and can certainly say that I now know how to clean the kitchen and wash dishes very well.  Actually, I have my own regular household chores, but I will admit that cooking is neither my strong point nor interest.

Being totally blind, I access materials either in Braille or through audio media. Though I prefer Braille for math, as well as for most assignments or worksheets, I prefer texts and most other materials in audio format. Besides a Brailler, I also use a laptop, with JAWS as my screen reading software, Victor Reader and I plan on using scanned text-to-speech software to access my materials. .

Along with some of the strategies listed above, in order to ensure that I am successful in college, I have chosen a University that supports the visually impaired very well. I have already met with the Key Academic Advisor of the Computer Science department at C.S.U., as well as their department for the Visually Impaired.  I have also been in contact with Vocational Rehabilitation and am applying for scholarships.  With the necessary equipment/technology, my skills and ability to advocate for myself, and the assistance of the college I feel that I am ready and able to succeed in a college environment.

Though I know college will be challenging, even difficult, I know that I can and will succeed in it. My philosophy is that if there is a challenge – figure a way to overcome it; if there is a problem, there is a solution – find it. It is my conviction that if you believe in yourself and in your abilities, then there is nothing you can’t do.

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Fujiwara

Adam: I work with your Aunt Paula. She has told me what an amazing young man you are. Keep fighting Adam because you have the world right in front of you. Janet Fujiwara

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Sally

Adam-What an incredibe young man you are! Your Aunt Nancy’s sister, Joanne, has told me about you. You are an inspiration not only to the young, but us older folks as well. You are in my heartfelt prayers and God bless you. Sally

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Aly Wilson

Adam: I went to school with you at Palisade I was a junior when you were a senior. I was fortunate enough to know you, not on a personal level but I did know you. I don’t think you knew me at all. I just wanted to say it is amazing the things you do and plan on doing with your life. You are a great inspiration to people both with and without sight. It is an honor to know you and I wish you the best of luck.
With love,
Aly Wilson

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Rosemary

Adam,

I cannot express how big of an impact you’ve made in my life. Spanish class was the best! I really miss you, and I’m going to be praying for you!!

Hugs,
Rosemary

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Steph Rush

Hi Adam!

This is Mrs. Rush from PHS. I’m dropping you a note to say hi and to say how proud I am of your accomplishments in college. Keep up the good work; you are an inspiration to all of us.

Take care,
S. Rush

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Ana

Hi my name is Ana, I read his essay and I really admire him for not giving up even if he has difficulties…
Can you please tell him I said hi since you know him…
I would really appreciate it…
It’s really hard to find teenagers that think like him I really admire that about him.

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